100 Women in Finance celebrates International Women’s Day

The Countess of Wessex, third from right, at one of the events held to celebrate International Women’s Day in Malta.

The Countess of Wessex, third from right, at one of the events held to celebrate International Women’s Day in Malta.

100 Women in Finance (100WF), a global non-profit organisation that supports more than 15,000 professionals in the finance and alternative investment industries, recently celebrated International Women’s Day with a series of events in Valletta with the Countess of Wessex and the President of Malta.

The Countess of Wessex is global ambassador for 100 Women in Finance’s Next Generation Initiative.

The events commenced at the Malta Stock Exchange where the Countess of Wessex rang the bell to mark the opening of the day’s trading along with President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca before attending a reception for 100WF members and invited guests. The ringing of the bell is a symbol for change in Malta as it was the first time a female has opened the Malta Stock Exchange.

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna and Minister for European Affairs and Equality Helena Dalli were in attendance and both addressed the reception.

Many of the events were focused on inspiring the Next Generation, including the BPW Careers’ Day at the MCC that showcased opportunities open to young women and provided mentoring and support, where the Countess of Wessex participated in a question and answer session with over 700 female students. The Countess of Wessex also visited the University of Malta, Valletta Campus, and met academic staff and students from the Banking and Finance department.

The Countess of Wessex also attended a breakfast at the British High Commissioner’s residence where she met university student participants in the JAYE Malta start up Programme. The President of Malta hosted the Countess of Wessex to a lunch sponsored by V2018 at the Grand Master’s Palace where Jason Micallef, chairman of V2018, and Prof. Scicluna addressed the attendees and spoke about the special relationship between Malta and UK.

The evening reception hosted by 100WF Malta at Casino Maltese was attended by over 250 people and was sponsored by Catena Media, National Bank of Greece, the MTA and Muscat Motors.

Amanda Pullinger, CEO of 100 Women in Finance, and Elaine Mulcahy, chair of 100WF’s Malta Committee, gave an overview of the global 100WF organisation, including its mission and achievements, and a preview of programmes planned for 100WF Malta.

Ms Pullinger said: “Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex is a strong advocate for professional women globally. Through Her Royal Highness’s visit to 100WF’s Malta location, we raise the visibility of the work 100WF is doing in Malta and globally to empower women in our industry and open doors for them.

“We will continue to foster the discussion among our members globally on best practices, as well as growing additional support from our industry partners, so that we can meet our goal of inspiring more young women to enter our industry and all women wherever they are on their career journey in our industry to progress and succeed. 100WF’s work is made possible by our committees of dedicated volunteers and our industry sponsors.”

Ms Mulcahy remarked: “100WF Malta was launched officially by the President of Malta on November 1, 2016, with the help of founding partners EY, Apex Fund Services, Sparkasse, and Ganado Advocates. In 2017 the location held an event every month. 2018 marks the 100th year anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in the UK and the ringing of the bell at the Malta Stock Exchange by not one, but two very special women, was a great way to celebrate the occasion.”

This year is expcted to be another promising one for 100WF Malta with an event planned each month. Some key dates for 100 Women in Finance upcoming events include: ‘Blockchain eXperience: Understanding the Technology with PWC’, on April 25; an event being organised in conjunction with Finance Malta’s conference, May 16; and an event with the Ministry of Equality: ‘Malta Vision for Increasing Women’s Roles from Legislation to Action’, on May 30. 

Through its education and networking events, 100WF Malta aims to empower women in finance. With a mere seven per cent of board members being female, there is a great deal to be done in Malta to encourage women into executive positions.

In the Global Gender Gap Index released by the World Economic Forum, Malta was ranked in the 93rd place just above the global weighted index with Ireland ranked at number eight, the UK, number 15 and the US, number 49. According to the report it will take 100 years to see true gender parity under current trends. 

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